Guided Imagery

Guided Imagery is a therapeutic technique that is used to promote relaxation and healing. Imagery (thoughts or mental representations with sensory qualities) can help people to achieve a variety of health goals, such as alleviating anxiety or depression, overcoming phobias, trauma recovery, reducing health-endangering habits (overeating, smoking), healing from physical illness, and physical symptom reduction (i.e., headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, G.I. problems, chronic pain). During an imagery exercise, a therapist guides the person in visualizations that are intended for the specific healing purpose in mind, wherein the person gains access to their own inner or unconscious resources to fortify and accelerate their healing process. These exercises are then practiced outside of sessions. Imagery can also be used to enhance performance, and is often applied in sports psychology or other types of behavioral training. Guided imagery is used by therapists with a variety of orientations, but is more often found in here-and-now types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral, ericksonian hypnotherapy, gestalt and humanistic approaches.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy that has been demonstrated by many research studies to be the most effective approach for a variety of psychological problems. The therapy relationship is collaborative and goal-oriented, and the focus on thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and behaviors is key. In CBT, the goal is for a person to develop more realistic and rational perspectives, and make healthier behavioral choices, as well as to feel relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods are used to help people to improve their mood, relationships and work performance.

Schema Therapy is essentially an integration of cognitive, behavioral, gestalt and psychodynamic approaches, using the best aspects of each in a unified therapy. It is similar to CBT (standard cognitive behavioral therapy) in that the person learns how to correct his or her habitual and problematic patterns of thinking and feeling, and the corresponding difficulties in behavioral coping style. The focus is on identifying and understanding, and then challenging and overcoming the long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behavior that create obstacles for a person in getting needs met and attaining life goals. The goal is for the person to feel better and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

CTA is a network of experienced therapists in the NY metro area who provide Cognitive Therapy and Schema-Focused Therapy. To inquire about an appointment, please call us at 212-258-2577.

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